Leader's Speech in Meeting with MPs of Religious Minorities

The following is the full text of the speech delivered on January 26, 2015 by Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution, in a meeting with MPs of religious minorities in the Majlis.

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

We have learned from Islam that we should behave in a fair way towards the followers of other religions. This is Islam's command to us. Today, what is witnessed in the world is that powers and those governments which claim to support justice do not at all behave in a fair way except in the inner circle of their narrow, limited and oppressive polices. Today, you can see that in Europe and America, they use massive propaganda against Muslims. The issue is not why Muslims do not have any freedom in many of these countries. Rather, the issue is why they do not have any security. This is really the case. The movie "American Sniper", which has produced some reactions and which has been made by Hollywood, encourages a Christian or non-Muslim to harass Muslims as much as he can. In fact, according to what others have said - we have not seen this movie - it encourages such courses of action.

This is not at all accepted by Islam. Islam believes in justice. On the issue of that attack [on the city of al-Anbar] the Commander of the Faithful (peace and greetings be upon him) said, "I have come to know that every one of them entered upon Muslim women and muahida women" [Nahjul Balaghah, Sermon 27]. In this sermon, he says that some people have entered the houses of Muslim and muahida women - muahid means Jewish and Christian individuals who have formed an alliance with Muslims and who live under the protection of Islam - to take away their ornaments and harass them.

They [Iranian-Armenian martyrs] really behaved in a committed - in the real sense of the word - way towards the country.

Then, Hazrat says, "If any Muslim dies of grief after all this, he is not to be blamed". This is the Commander of the Faithful (a.s.). If a Muslim dies of grief at the harassment of non-Muslim women by the army of the enemies and looters - they entered their houses and took away their ornaments - he is not to be blamed. This is the viewpoint of Islam. We hope that by Allah's favor, we move forward in this direction.

And we have good memories in this regard. Whenever I go to the houses of Armenian and Assyrian martyrs - this year too, I fortunately managed to visit the houses of a number of Armenian martyrs - I see that they are committed to their country. They have really behaved in a committed way. I remember that during the time of war, a number of Armenian Christians went to Ahwaz. I saw that a number of people were sitting inside the airport. I asked, "Who are these people?" they said, "They are Armenians and they are going to the front lines for industrial affairs. They have come to render services". The Armenians are skilled at industrial and technical affairs. The late Chamran employed them. They made efforts, they rendered services and some of them were martyred.

The Iranians non-Muslim compatriots

One of the members of an Armenian family whom I visited last week had a son in the army. He said, "When his military service was over, he was unhappy because the war was continuing. He said, 'My military service is over. What should I do now?' Later on, it was announced that those who have done their military service for a few months should join the army again. He became happy at this call-up and he joined the front lines. Later on, he was martyred and his body was brought to us". We can witness such nationalistic feelings among our non-Muslim compatriots. Well, they made efforts and we hope that the Islamic government can carry out its responsibility in this regard. They really behaved in a committed - in the real sense of the word - way towards the country.

You should reflect - outside the country - the courses of action that the Islamic Republic takes in this regard. People and the world of Christianity should know that in our Islamic country, there is a lot of tolerance and respect for non-Muslims. This is while such tolerance does not exist in the Christian world. You have heard a lot that in western countries such as Germany, neo-Nazi youth - they are proud of being Nazis and they have called themselves, "neo-Nazis" - attack Muslims and their mosques. They kill Muslims in a brutal way and there is no legal prosecution. We have not heard that they bring a prosecution against them.

People and the world of Christianity should know that in our Islamic country, there is a lot of tolerance and respect for non-Muslims

Another example is that they killed a young Arab woman who was wearing maqna'a or pooshiah [veil] because of her hijab and no one arrests them. The same is true of other places. The same crimes are unfortunately being committed in America and other places and countries. This is while they claim to support human rights. They should compare these with what is happening in Iran. Such acts are unheard of in Iran. In the Islamic era and in the Islamic Republic, harassing non-Muslims by Muslims is unheard of. Even those hezbollahi youth who are very zealous and enthusiastic do not allow themselves to attack a non-Muslim. I hope that Allah the Exalted gives you and us the blessing to carry out our responsibilities.